“How would we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.” W.H. Auden, taken from, The More Loving One
Being appreciated and recognized as a writer is lovely. – Acceptance and recognition is something that we want but rejections, being edited and rebuffed are part of the writer's life. However, when we do get an acceptance from a publisher or editor, we often forget all the rejections it took to get there. I could wall paper my home with the rejections I received on my first manuscript. I landed Doubleday with that book. I had rejections from agents and publishers for my latest manuscript (my 11th book), until I received a contract from Shanti Arts. A perfect publisher for this book and its message.
I see that all my acceptances (even in personal relationships) are built on upon a multitude of rejections.
So, viva la rejections. This literally translates into LIVE THE REJECTIONS.
Then, after the acceptances, comes the editing, which becomes another dance of letting go on what we thought our piece would look like. The editor will reject some of your sentences, and challenge your ideas and how you present them on the page. Excellent! These mini rejets are again what will lead to something beautifully written.
So viva the mini rejections!
I submitted a feature article to the local paper, not having all the skills for this particular genre of writing. The editor accepted my article but I had to work on the craft of writing for a paper. So, his mini rejets made for a better article.
"Love the piece more than yourself," Matt Geiger, executive editor of the local paper said to me (as he challenged some of my writing!). Such great advice to all of us writers: make the piece more important than feeding your ego. Have our focus be on making something beautiful, or at least something of interest to our readers.
In this weeks consultation with the I Ching I received: "Concern yourself not with the form things take but with there content." An invitation to cut through my bravado and concerns about appearances . Instead, I can focus on what makes this piece genuine and meaningful to me, and hopefully, to my readers.
Create something meaningful for readers from your JOURNALS and NOTES. Or learn how to USE YOUR JOURNALS and notes to make a great written piece. From Journal to Reader: 4 Evenings of Turning Your Ideas and Journals into Blogs, Articles, Essays, or Book for Readers. 4 Thursday nights, two in June and two in July at Healing Services on the River in Prairie du Sac. June 14th and 28th; July 11th and 25th. 5:30 pm till 9:00. Room for 10. Register soon, as this will fill up fast. Your investment is $220.00, includes personal attention and consultation and critique of 10 pages. You will leave with a solid template and path to sharing your ideas with the world. Contact me at email@example.com.
“The greatest way to reduce suffering in our lives and the lives of others is to take care of our bodies, along with our speech and our thoughts” (Thich Nhat Hanh).
“Body, speech, and mind are considered the three doors to enlightenment” (Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche).
In Buddhism, Mind, Body and Speech are the doorways to enlightenment. Or happiness. Or health, creativity or joy. Mind, body and speech are pathways to a meaningful life. Speech refers to how and what we communicate. What we put out into the world with our words. Right speech is encouraged. We want our words, and the consequences of our speech to have integrity, to have a positive impact.
The Buddha defined right speech as “abstinence from false speech, abstinence from malicious speech, abstinence from harsh speech, and abstinence from idle chatter.” (I can't claim for a fact the Buddha said this, I wasn't there to hear it for myself. The Buddha did not write anything down. The earliest known scriptures were recorded hundreds of years after the Buddha's death. Still, the Buddhavacana. Words of the Buddha, are claimed to be the literal utterances of the Buddha as the Sangha orally maintained them since the Buddha's death.)
Right speech means not lying, not using speech in ways that create discord among people, not using a cynical, hostile or angry tone of voice, and not engaging in gossip. These guidelines urge us to say only what is true, to speak (and write) in ways that promote harmony among people, to use a tone of voice that is kind, and express ourselves mindfully in order that our speech is useful and purposeful. Right speech helps people connect to one another.
Messaging the world through our blogs, books, letters, texts has consequences. Any time we have a reader we are influencing this person. We are making contact and having an impact on them.
I am influencing you right now.
We can make the world more beautiful and resilient through our speech. We can empower ourselves and others through our written words and through every conversation. Our words inherently hold a reciprocity. Every shared word has a karmic imprint.
When it comes to your speech consider the impact you want to have on others, along with the karmic imprint this creates on your life's path.
MAKE A LOUDER, MORE MEANINGFUL IMPRINT: Create something meaningful for readers from your JOURNALS and NOTES. From Journal to Reader: 4 Evenings of Turning Your Ideas and Journals into Blogs, Articles, Essays, or Book for Readers. 4 Thursday nights, two in June and two in July at Healing Services on the River in Prairie du Sac. June 14th and 28th; July 11th and 25th. 5:30 pm till 9:00. Room for 10. Register soon, as this will fill up fast. Your investment is $220.00, includes personal attention and consultation and critique of 10 pages. You will leave with a solid template and path to sharing your ideas with the world. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.” Neil Gaiman
Join up with other writers, agents, authors, writing mentors and coaches at UW, Continuing Studies 30th Writers’ Institute. April 4-7th, on the beautiful (and historical) Madison campus.
Jane Friedman and Jennie Nash are the Keynote Speakers. (Jane alone would be worth the admission.) But the benefits, connections and resources only start here! Explore a plethora of possible avenues to writing success with a personalized pathway to publication.
I will be offering advanced manuscript critiques (a few slots left). And, I will be one of the coaches for this year’s PATHWAY TO PUBLICATION mentorship program. If 2020 is your year to complete your manuscript or to get published, this is the program for you. Take advantage of this EXCLUSIVE publishing opportunity for attendees of the 2019 Writers’ Institute.
Okay, hope to see you there.
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and adventures are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes and forgotten." Neil Gaiman
You have likely heard the expression: “You can’t travel in a parked car.”
As it turns out, we can’t get far with too many cars parked in our stall either.
A woman whose seminar I sat in on last spring was at a recent staff meeting of Social Work instructors. (A truly great group of people to find myself in). She was a natural educator and taught about micro and macro levels of social work practice that made the subject relatable and meaningful. She was funny. After the talk I approached her with a collaborative idea and she responded with interest. I sent her a follow up email. And when I didn’t hear back within a month, I sent another one (in case there was an email issue). I never heard back. Then recently I see she will present the same talk again (and I’m excited to learn from her again. Like a great sermon, a repeat of her material is sure to further inspire). I admit to wondering if she knew of my secret flaws and just wasn’t interested in meeting up with me. (I admit to you I have flaws so secret I am not always aware of what they are myself, but others certainly catch on to them.) My curiosity and boldness helped me to send out one more email. No response. Then, at this staff meeting, there she was. She sat at a long oblong table among a dozen other instructors. When she spoke up she was articulate with a bent of humor and vulnerability. I wondered if she knew who I was. I contemplated whether I wanted to approach her. I put this matter in the hands of Spirit, in that, I had already reached out and there was no need to push the river or make a point. I practiced too, not taking her inaction personally. (Everything, always is grist for our spiritual practice or writing.) As I got ready to go, she came over to me. She apologized for not getting back to me. She was interested in getting together and generously offered that I share my ideas at her seminar. I declined because I wanted my students to get the full breath of her talk (and I wanted to hear it again). She said she would get back to me soon. I told her I would follow up too.
So, what stopped her from getting in touch with me? She revealed that my emails were “parked in her in-box.”
I was one of her parked cars. She mentioned having many of them.
I realized that I too have many, too many, parked cars.
In my preparation for spring break I will tend to all my parked cars first. (She now is one of my parked cars, because I have yet to get back to her). I have a crowded parking lot.
All those parked cars, if still parked during my holiday, will rob me of a truly enjoyable time off. They will haunt me, as yours do you. Parked cars cram our creative space with a chronic nag. All those things we need to attend to but put on hold rob us of fully enjoying our day to day life.
During my holiday, I want to write, attend yoga classes, take a few day trips with my dog, walk and maybe start another project. I am signed up for a facial and a massage. (I want to enjoy my TV binging time which I am sure to do!) I want to send out some letters (not emails). So, I am busy each day now clearing out my parking lot of saved emails, boxes I’ve yet to unpack, commitments I put on hold, and work related tasks. I am checking-in internally to all my “maybes,” “I will get to that,” and, unfinished projects. I am doing my Yes, No, Maybe practice. Maybes are parked cars. This simple and effective practice can be found in my book, The Zero Point Agreement: How To Be Who You Already Are.
Well, you will hear from me next week when I’m on my holiday because I want to write my blog; I enjoy writing these blogs. I hope you enjoy reading them. That's another thing about parked cars -- how many of them are things you really don't want to do?
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I will be at Sjolinds on Friday, March 29th from 10 till 2:00 Come to write, meet other writers get some free consultation with me.
I am excited to announce that I will be offering a WRITING & Yoga RETREAT in August with yoga teacher (and writer) Molly Chanson. Enjoy 4 days of writing, yoga, nature walks, meditation, more writing. Leave inspired and more aligned in mind, body and speech. More details soon!
All Write Wednesdays: World into Word
All Write Wednesdays is a blog about living the writer's life. Everything in our lives is material. Read all of the All Write Wednesdays posts.
Zero Point Blog
The Zero Point blog shares my teachings about living your life from the inside out and becoming the cause rather than the effect of your life. Read all of the Zero Point posts.
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Julie lives in Mount Horeb WI where she walks her dog through Stewart Park, gardens her corner lot, attends yoga at Bliss Flow Yoga in Madison and waits for spring 11 months of the year. She is author of The Zero Point Agreement & ten other books. She also writes for the local Mount Horeb paper and in her free time listens in on others' conversations at Sjolinds.